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Bentley Goes Global with Business Ethics Workshop

May 4, 2004

Bentley College has opened the doors of its long-running internal "Business Ethics Gadfly Workshop" to visiting faculty from the U.S and abroad. Established in 1991 by Bentley's internationally-recognized Center for Business Ethics, the workshop helps faculty integrate ethical issues into their classes. To date, more than 75 of Bentley's faculty from both business and liberal arts disciplines have participated. The school has received an overwhelming domestic and international response to this global pilot program.

The unprecedented 10-day workshop begins on May 11 with an eclectic group of faculty members from around the world who will immerse themselves in ethics training. Their goal is to share their experiences and develop new techniques to enable students to raise their own ethical awareness and ability to make rational, ethical choices in the business world.

Limited to 16 participants, including eight Bentley faculty, the workshop will bring together educators from Budapest University (Hungary), the University of Pretoria (South Africa), the Norwegian School of Management (Sandvika, Norway), York University (Toronto, Ontario), IAE (Argentina), L'Ecole de Management de Lyon (France), DePaul University (Chicago) and Western Washington University (Bellingham, WA),.

"The response to our call for interested faculty from outside of Bentley is proof that schools are taking this kind of ethics exchange very seriously," said Tony Buono, professor of Management and coordinator of the recently-launched Bentley Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility. "The workshop gives faculty the tools to integrate ethics into their classes, challenging students who will be tomorrow's business leaders and decision-makers. And the international nature of the response also shows that the concern for teaching ethics knows no boundaries. It's a phenomenal opportunity to learn from each other and to explore how ethics and social responsibility are viewed around the world."

Workshop facilitators will include Buono and Robert Frederick, Bentley professor and chair of Philosophy. Presenters will include: Mike Hoffman, founder and executive director, Center for Business Ethics; Barbara Kipp, Global Ethics and Business Conduct Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Ed Petry, executive director, Ethics Officer Association.

Recently, officials at Western Washington State University adapted the Bentley workshop model to fit their own needs after reading about the Gadfly Program in the March 2003 issue of The Academy of Management News. Along with Buono, WWU's Brian Burton, associate professor of Management and associate dean, College of Business and Economics, will present the details of how they adapted the program at the upcoming Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) July 21-23 Teaching Business Ethics conference in Boulder, Colorado.

The Global Gadfly Workshop is a precursor to a more intensive global workshop planned for 2005. For now, the goal is to help Bentley and visiting faculty members broaden their understanding of ethics concepts, analysis and application in their respective courses. The workshop will offer a balance of ethical theory and hands-on practice in analyzing cases and other teaching materials from ethical and discipline-based perspectives. Time will also be devoted to pedagogical issues of discussing ethics with students.

All visiting and Bentley faculty will share their views on integrating ethics and social responsibility in business and arts and sciences courses, and how this is done at their respective institutions. Bentley faculty participants include Vicki LaFarge, associate professor and chair of Management; Charles Malgwi, assistant professor of Accountancy; Linda McJannet, professor of English and director of the Bentley College Honors Program; Brigitte Muehlmann, associate professor of Financial Planning and Taxation; Sue Newell, trustee professor of Management; David Ortmeyer, assistant professor of Economics; Patrick Scholten, assistant professor of Economics; Rajendra Sisodia, professor of Marketing.

The Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College has been under the direction of W. Michael Hoffman since its founding in 1976. A nonprofit educational and consulting organization, its vision is a world in which all businesses contribute positively to society through their ethically sound and responsible operations. The Center has sponsored ten major conferences on business ethics, the first in spring 1977, attracting hundreds of national and international leaders and scholars from a variety of constituencies. The Center also provides a variety of publications, research and teaching materials, as well as consulting services. Its board of advisers is comprised of senior corporate executives.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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